Leftovers – Discussion Questions

MAIN POINT:

It is impossible to please God with our leftovers.


ICEBREAKER:

Look at the person to your right. Tell them: I am grateful for you because ______________________.


INTRODUCTION:

The world consumes our time, our attention, our affection, and our money. Many times we give God what is left over. He desires more and deserves more. God deserves our best. The Israelites got tired of their manna, and we often get tired of Christian life, instead relegating our relations with God to Christian duty. We must not be lukewarm but burn with a red-hot fire for God. Negativity has no place amongst believers. We ask God for everything. We must approach him with a thankful heart. We must exalt God as our number one priority. Gratitude is one of the ways we show our love to God, and it will change our lives!


ENCOUNTERING GOD THROUGH BIBLE STUDY:

1. Very quickly: Write down the five things for which you are most thankful.

Read Matthew 6:33 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

2. Pastor Chris challenged us to reflect on 2016. Over the last year, where has God ranked in your priorities?

Read Malachi 1:5-10.

3. What do you think God is saying about what is happening and how he feels?

Read Philippians 4:17.

4. Bob Goff, a prominent Christian leader and author, says, “How do you prove who you are?”
A) So, how do you prove who you are?
B) How can you better prove your love and gratefulness to God?

Read Proverbs 18:2.

5. Negativity and thankfulness do not go together. Can you think of a way to be less negative?

Read Hebrews 11:1-11.

6. How does this passage explain faith? How are words related to faith?

7. Explain how actions were affected by words and faith in the above text.

Read Jeremiah 48:10.

8. Explain how the above scripture could related to questions 6 and 7.

Read Luke 6:46.

9. Are you willing to do what God has instructed us to do?

10. As a group, create a list of positive, grateful affirmations and a prayer for unity and gratitude as a group that you will each read/pray daily for 7 days.


LEADER NOTES:

1. Was God on the list? If so, where was He on the list? It is very important to God that we put him first. Our own lives will be more happy and successful when we put Him first with our time, money, service, and loving others.
2. Discuss with those who want to share. Ask each person to set specific attainable goals to exalt God to #1 (for example, I will attend service every week, I will tithe 10%, I will serve in a certain way, etc.).
3. He is explaining that they were giving him the scraps, the worst, and the leftovers. If an important leader such as a governor were to visit, they would have given him better. This makes God feel despised, dishonored, and disrespected. This is unacceptable. God does not have to accept this.
4. A) Our words and actions prove who we are. B) Being intentional in making sure that we put God first in our lives. (Encourage to make goals!)
5. The # 1 way is with your words! Your words have power. Stop speaking negativity over your life. Instead give thanks for all things as the scriptures instruct.
6. Faith is claiming things that aren’t as if they were. God used words to create the world; Jesus became the word alive in the flesh. Words are powerful.
7. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah took the words to heart and were grateful for them before they saw the result of the words. They went to work with their actions because they believed the words and they saw great miracles.
8. Failing to put God first, act on faith, and show your gratitude is the opposite of God’s will, creates negativity, and is destructive for believers.
9. Discuss commitment to gratitude, faith, love, and obedience to God.
10. Examples: I am grateful for Jesus; I will go boldly before the throne of grace; I am healthy; I will seek God first; the church will be united; our families are well; we are God’s children; we are abundantly favored; Faith Promise will have a spirit of gratitude. (Anything that is at the heart of the group.) This is an exercise in praying in one accord with Pastor Chris. He is praying for a spirit of gratitude to consume Faith Promise. It is also an exercise in speaking life, positivity, and faith over our lives and each other.

Gauging our Faith – Discussion Questions

MAIN POINT:

How can a Christian measure his/her faith?


ICEBREAKER:

Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket and disagreed with the officer? Did you ever dispute a grade a teacher gave you?


INTRODUCTION:

We measure what matters to us. We have growth charts for our kids, performance reviews at our jobs, and fuel gauges on our cars. So how do we measure our faith? According to Pastor Paul David Tripp, “If your faith doesn’t reshape your life, it’s not true faith.” True faith is measured by the effect of its presence. Though faith itself is invisible, it produces visible effects or outcomes. Faith is more than what you believe. Faith is about the way that you respond and live because of what you believe. One gauge of our faith is our worship. God didn’t accept Cain’s sacrifice because he brought it without the faith and trust in God’s design. Faithful worship is about doing things God’s way over our own way. Another gauge is the length of our obedience. Faith produces in us a heart of obedience and a reward of righteousness. A third gauge is the depth of our trust in His calling. Noah found favor in God’s eyes because he did not pick and choose what to believe or when to obey—he trusted and obeyed everything from God. The work of faith in our lives is gauged by our willingness to obey.


ENCOUNTERING GOD THROUGH BIBLE STUDY:

Read Hebrews 11:1-7.
1. The act of faith produces visible effects or outcomes. Do you agree? Does your life demonstrate this statement?
2. Read verse 4. Faithful worship is about doing things God’s way over our own way. Does the way you do what you do represent faithful worship? Consider your thoughts and attitude.
3. Read verse 5-6. Enoch was taken up to heaven directly. In Genesis 5:22-24 it says that Enoch walked with God. How are you walking with God? What helps you keep following Jesus? What distracts you?
4. Your obedience to God is direct gauge of your faith. How does this make you feel?
5. Has God ever told you to do something and you didn’t quite do it the way He laid it out?
6. Read verse 7. Noah’s faith changed things for his entire family. Have you seen this happen?
7. How does answering God’s call require deep trust?
8. What is God asking you to do that you are resisting?


The Tennessee God Sees – Week 4 – Discussion Questions

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MAIN POINT:

God is the gift and the giver.


ICEBREAKER:

What is the greatest gift you have ever received? Why was/is it great to you?


INTRODUCTION:

Most often with gifts the value of something is enhanced by the relationship of the person who gave the gift or by the history behind it. This principle is true with our relationship with Jesus just as much as it is with our family and friends in this life. Today we will read and discuss some gifts God gives us. Most importantly, we will discuss the ultimate gift He gives us – himself. Through the life and sacrifice of Jesus, God has made this gift available to us all. However, just because it’s available to all does not mean that all have received it. We receive this gift by putting our faith in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Have you received and opened this gift?


ENCOUNTERING GOD THROUGH BIBLE STUDY:

1. Let’s look at Jesus’ encounter with a rich young ruler. Read Matthew 19:16-22.

How did the rich young ruler respond when Jesus answered his question?

Did the rich young ruler want God or what God can give?

Have you ever desired what God can give more than God himself? Specifically, what gifts have you elevated above the Giver?

2. Let’s look at how God gave us himself through Jesus’ sacrifice. Read 1 Peter 3:18.

How is God’s gift of salvation through his son Jesus different than other gifts?

3. Let’s look at another way God gives us himself. Read John 14:15-18 and 16:7.

What does Jesus promise us?

How is it for our good that Jesus is no longer with us in the flesh?

How do you respond to the truth that the same spirit that was in Jesus is available to us (as Christians)? If you find this encouraging, discuss why so.

How have you experienced the Holy Spirit in your life?

4. Let’s look at some gifts we receive when we are in Christ. Read Ephesians 1:3-14.

What are some spiritual blessings (gifts) in Christ mentioned by Paul?

How do you react to the truth that the moment you believe in Jesus, as being the Son of God, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit? Do you doubt this?

5. Pastor Chris mentioned he is a pusher because he wants people to know and grow in the grace of God.     
Read Exodus 40:34-38, 1 Kings 8:10-12, 1 Kings 9:2-3, John 1:14, John 14:15-18, and Revelation 21:1-3.

Do you see a pattern of God pushing His presence among His people so they may know Him better?

Have you seriously considered that God, the creator of the universe, consistently throughout scripture comes to his people to be with them so they may know Him more? What do these scriptures say about God’s care for his people? What do they say about God’s care for you?

Do you believe that God desires to dwell with you? Why so or why not?


PRAYER

Pray as a group that God would reveal His pursuing love and ultimate gift of himself to all people so they may come to know Him (more or for the first time). Pray for a vision to see the Tennessee God sees.


LEADER NOTES:

2. We have received other gifts in our life both from God and from man. Think about how these gifts differ from the ultimate gift. God gave us the one thing that can never run out, get old, be taken, or fail – Himself.
3. We are loved. We are chosen. We are adopted. We receive grace. We are free. God grants us wisdom and understanding. God gives us the Holy Spirit. We have a promise of a future inheritance. Regarding doubts: Groups are a place to vulnerable and transparent. Group members should feel free to share doubts and problems. Leaders and members, please meet these doubts and problems with love, kindness, and encouragement.

fp Stephen Ministry is looking for new Stephen Ministers

Capture

When was the last time someone really listened to you?  We’re talking about that non-distracted, full-attention kind of listening.  That’s one of the ways our Stephen Ministry cares for others.

Stephen Ministers work alongside our pastors to care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support to people who are going through a difficult time.  The ministry is a wonderful opportunity to grow in faith, develop stronger relational skills, and bring Christ’s love into the lives of hurting people.  If you have gifts for caring, encouragement, and listening, please begin to prayerfully consider whether you might want to be part of this one-to-one caring ministry.

Stephen Ministers meet regularly with another person to provide care. They also meet with other Stephen Ministers to support and encourage one another. Stephen Leaders provide training and supervision. When Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers work together, God accomplishes wonderful things!

Areas of Focus for Stephen Ministry

  • Grief/Bereavement
  • Terminal Illness (includes families of dying persons)
  • Divorce
  • Hospitalization and Recuperation
  • Lonely or Discouraged
  • Spiritual Crisis
  • Relocation
  • Job Loss or Other Vocational Need
  • Spouse or Parent of Person in Crisis
  • Other Crisis Situation
  • Nursing Home Resident
  • Families of Those in Nursing Homes
  • Homebound or Shut-In
  • Convalescence or Rehabilitation
  • Long-Term Care

Commitment Required of a Stephen Minister

It requires a high level of on-going commitment to become a Stephen Minister.

  • Two year commitment to the ministry.
  • Weekly meetings with Care Receiver.
  • Bi-Weekly meetings with Stephen Ministry team for Continuing Education and Supervision Meetings.
  • Initial 50 hour training course.

Training Schedule

The weekly training classes will be conducted at the Pellissippi Campus in Room 222 beginning Thursday January 5th at 6:30 pm.

How to Apply

  • Fill out an application online no later than Tuesday, December 13th
  • Interviews will be conducted.
  • All participants will be informed of selection by December 31st.

Stephen Ministry is a vital part of the Groups Ministry here at Faith Promise Church. As with all of our groups, we focus on creating environments where people Encounter God (Up), Embrace Others (In), Engage the World (Out), and Expand God’s Kingdom (Forward).

The Tennessee God Sees – Week 3 – Discussion Questions

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MAIN POINT:

The more we trust, the more we sacrifice, and the more we reap a harvest of what we have sown.


ICEBREAKER:

None of us chooses our own starting point. What do you know about your birth story? Share briefly.


INTRODUCTION:

We all come from different starting points in life, but we don’t get to choose those starting points. Some people are born into great wealth and privilege, while others enter life in poverty and want. This year’s Heart for the Harvest offering will be put toward opening two new prison campuses: Morgan County Correctional Complex and the women’s side of Bledsoe County Correctional Complex. Many of those serving time in these prisons had a rough start to life. A difficult starting point is not an excuse for sin later in life, but our hearts should be soft towards others and offer mercy and forgiveness just as Christ forgave us. The sacrifices that Faith Promisors make during this Heart for the Harvest offering will allow those in prison to hear God’s message of hope and redemption. Jesus said in Matthew 25 “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Whatever we do for those behind bars, we are doing for Christ. What will you give to make this happen?


ENCOUNTERING GOD THROUGH BIBLE STUDY:

Read Hosea 10:12.

1. Pastor Chris talked about “breaking up our fallow ground,” in other words, breaking up the hard places in your heart, so that God can plant seeds of righteousness. What are the the hard places in your  heart?

2. Take some time as a group to pray through some things that might bind you or hinder you from God’s best in your life. Read the following scriptures and pray as a group.

Read Matthew 6:33 and Matthew 11:28.
Pray that God would loose the chains of busyness.

Read Ephesians 4:31-32.
Pray that God would loose the chains of bitterness. Ask God to help you to forgive those who have wronged you.

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Pray that God would loose the chains of blame. Ask God to remind you of His redeeming work in you; ask Him to remove any guilt you still feel for past sins; ask Him to help you to release others from blame.

Read Ecclesiastes 5:10.
Pray that God would loose the chains of money.

Read Hebrews 12:1.
Pray that God would loose the chains of baggage. Ask God to help you lay aside anything (past sins, past relationships, past hurts, etc.) that hinders you from following Him with your whole heart.

3. Pastor Chris said “A hesitation to sacrifice comes from a limitation of trust.” Are you hesitant to sacrifice? Where are you limited in your trust? Do you doubt God’s provision? Do you doubt God’s grace? Do you doubt God’s love?

Read 2 Corinthians 9:6.

4. Many times we talk about this verse as it relates to money, but we can sow other things. What are you sowing with your time? What are you sowing with your talents? What are you sowing with words you speak to others?

Read 2 Corinthians 9:7-8.

5. Pastor explained that the word translated “cheerful” in this verse could also be translated “hilarious.” Are you a hilarious giver? Do you know someone who is? Talk about the impact that you have seen generosity make.

Pray as a group that God would give you eyes to see the Tennessee that He sees. Pray for a spirit of generosity in the Heart for the Harvest offering. Pray that in the years to come this offering would produce a harvest of love for others, hope for the future, and faith in Jesus.


LEADER NOTES:

3. Please be careful and kind. Groups are a place to be transparent. Group members should be free to share doubts and problems. Please meet these doubts and problems with love and encouragement. See 1 Thessalonians 5:11.